Jun 17, 2014, 2:16 PM EDT
The match kicks off at 3pm ET, with Brazil hoping to find its form against a Mexico team that looked quite strong in beating Cameroon to open its tournament.
Will Neymar have a say? Can Silva and Luiz shut down Peralta and Dos Santos? Ooooh, it’s getting juicy!
Brazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva (c), David Luiz, Marcelo, Paulinho, Fred, Neymar, Oscar, Ramires, Luiz Gustavo
Mexico: Ochoa, Rodriguez, Marquez (c), Herrera, Layun, Dos Santos, Moreno, Guardado, Peralta, Aguilar, Vazquez
1. Is the tournament that good so far? Brazilian defender Thiago Silva thinks his host nation’s tournament has been going swimmingly. In fact, he thinks it’s the best yet.
““This is the World Cup of all World Cups for those who like goals scored. For those who like football, this is the World Cup. This is being shown in terms of numbers, goals. For a defender, that’s not all good but I believe it’s just part of football.”
2. Will Mexico keep CONCACAF’s hot hand on the boil? The confederation is 3-1 after the first group of matches, with Honduras’ 3-0 loss to France the only blemish. These are Western hemisphere teams, and Mexico coach Miguel Herrera wants the ‘W’.
“We’re thinking big. We know they will have the support of the crowd, that we will be very much the visitors, but we’ve beaten them once and we know we can do it again.”
3. No Hulk, big problem? Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said this before it came out that Hulk would not play, with Ramires coming on for the big man.
“If there is a problem with Hulk I will have to completely change the system we have used for some time. The way he positions himself, on the right and on the left (makes him a threat). But I have players with different characteristics and qualities who can bolster the team.”
Expectation: Fun… and diving. Look for a lot of back and forth, with Mexico on the front foot more than expected but Brazil finding the sledding a bit easier than Croatia.
One blogger’s prediction: Brazil looks better on offense and proves to be too much for Rafa Marquez and company, but Oribe Peralta and Giovani dos Santos threaten, too. Brazil, 3-2.
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